Survey of Parental Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Stay for "Painless" Intravenous Catheter Placement : Pediatric Emergency Care

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Survey of Parental Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Stay for "Painless" Intravenous Catheter Placement

Walsh, Brooks Myrick BA*; Bartfield, Joel Michael MD

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Pediatric Emergency Care 22(11):p 699-703, November 2006. | DOI: 10.1097/01.pec.0000238743.96606.69



This study examined how much parents are willing to pay and/or willing to stay to make their child's intravenous (IV) catheter placement painless.


A prospective survey was conducted using a questionnaire administered to a consecutive sample of parents presenting to an emergency department (ED). Eligible subjects were parents accompanying a child 8 years of age or younger. A hypothetical visit to the ED, requiring an IV for their child, was described. Parents were asked if they would prefer to make the IV catheter placement painless and if so, how much of an increase in out-of-pocket cost (none, $15, and $100) and/or length of stay they would be willing to incur (no time, 15 minutes, 1 hour). Statistics were chiefly descriptive. Associations of demographic elements with willingness to pay and willingness to stay were analyzed using χ2 and t tests, where appropriate.


One hundred eight subjects were available for analysis. Most parents were mothers (71%), white (53%), and with previous IVs (70%). Most children were boys (55%) with no previous IV placements (55%). The choice of a painless IV placement was independent of demographics and IV experience. Most parents (89%) chose a painless IV placement. Of these parents, 65% chose a willingness to stay of 1 extra hour, and 77% a willingness to pay at least $15; 37% of parents would pay $100. Willingness to pay was dependent on both income (P = 0.014) and ethnicity (P = 0.0013). Willingness to stay was independent of both income (P = 0.24) and ethnicity (P = 0.07).


Parents are willing to spend both time and money to make their child's IV placement painless. This information should be considered when choosing therapies to reduce the pain of IV placement.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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